Wednesday – what happens next

Wednesday morning we will be here from around 9 am when the final unfolding of the large colossal squid will take place. At present it is still frozen inside the centre of the cube and folded into several layers…….

To give you some idea of the size, the smaller specimen on the dissection table weighs 161 kg (but is probably lacking about 50 kg of tissue from the mantle) and is 4.6 metres in total length . . . the large specimen in the tank weighs 495 kg and we will not know the total length until it is fully thawed and straightened out.

See you back here tomorrow – dreaming of the Kraken . . . .

38 Responses

  1. Mark from the tank

    Hi all,

    I just made it home finally for the week and have found five minutes to look at the blog comments. I am absolutely stunned at the amount of comments and the quality of the question’s. Hopefully I will have time to answer a few next week as right now I am going to enjoy my very very overdue birthday drinks!

    Cheers everyone for blogging in,


  2. CJ

    The News just said your cutting up its guts soon to see what its been eating (I had trouble finding the webcam, they say Google: Te Papa- Squid!!

  3. claire from hamilton

    wow this is awesome!! i cant watch it for to long it keeps cutting in and out, but have been reading up about it, you guys are doing a wikid job!!! and i wish i could be there!!!!

  4. Sharon

    Krystel, and anyone else who wants to know, go to this website.

  5. Krystel

    I would like to know what timeis it there if it is 5:00pm in California U.S.A.?

  6. Yasmin

    We are watching from Brisbane and it is absolutely fabulous to see things live and have been glued to the sceen. Thank you sooooo much for setting up the cameras and microphone. Becoming a marine scientist and specialising in squid was one of my (unfulfilled) career options years ago, so this is especially fascinating. But have to go with my 2 yr old to his swimming lesson now – there will be no colossal squid there. See you again soon.
    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MARK!! What a great birthday present to be there!!!

  7. Eljay

    Wow! Thanks for the quick response. I cannot get over that just the lens is that big.

  8. chrispaulin

    The white object is the lens from the eye

  9. Sharon

    Hopefully the cocktails will come later. Wish I could buy you a drink, you’ve been absolutely great at answering our questions and keeping us informed! Tell Olaf to buy you one from me and I’ll return the favor next time he gets to Arizona.

  10. Eljay

    What was that round white object in man’s hand please?

  11. chrispaulin

    Roughly its probably around two years old. Still no idea of the sex. Its white in areas where the delicate skin tissues have been torn by the net which was used to lift it out of the water

  12. CJ

    Hi, have read alot about the Collosal, roughly what age? was it pregnant?(since the biggest is frozen & those ovaries were from the smaller one eh!)have we a Sex yet? and when captured, it was a bright red’y-orange, now creamy white, is that like us drained of blood/not pumping? do they have blood?(spose so), and whats gonna be in its Guts!do squid have that ink like octupus? Gonna name it? “Monty 11(2)” ?

  13. chrispaulin

    Yes Sharon there is a big media event going on – unfortunately no cocktails though. We’ve put up a media post so you can see the frenzy going on.

  14. chrispaulin

    No it wasn’t measured on the boat. And we don’t know whether it is female or male yet -hence we haven’t named it (ha ha bad joke.)

    No worries about driving us nuts – too late. Actually there is a little crew of us doing the blogging and looking after the webcams. We are out of sight of the cameras but are in the room so it’s been really easy for us to get answers from the experts.

  15. Sharon

    It sounds like a big cocktail party going on. Is there a media/govt. event taking place right now?

    Guess that’s how you get funding for these things.

  16. Dakota

    I take it then that the squid wasn’t measured prior to being folded on the fishing vessel. Do you yet know the sex of the animal? Unless I’m mistaken, I understand females are larger than males, so if this is a male, can you imagine how HUGE a female would be? And P.S., don’t let us drive you nuts. You’ve got a job to do and you’re doing it very, very well. Thanks for allowing us to share in it with you.

  17. chrispaulin

    There’s still much discussion about what will be on display – whether to take the beak out or to leave it in – the jury is still out on this.

    As to the display case – we won’t know how big it will be until we can stretch out the colossal squid to measure it!

  18. Mark (Monty) Montague

    If the beak isn’t visible in the display, I know Steve and Kat have a huge collection of beaks from whale stomachs, so they could quite likely put a beak of the same size next to the display… perhaps also including one close to the max size beak they have (I imagine they’d like to hold onto the record-holder) to show how much bigger these animals may get.

  19. Dakota

    Question, when it’s put on display, will the beak be exposed? Also, how large do you suppose this tank will have to be? Is Mark attempting to manipulate the beak, now? Thanks.

  20. Dakota

    Either one. You guys are the BEST!!

  21. chrispaulin

    We’ve been asked by a couple of people what we are going to do with it afterwards. After it is examined and pulled out into its natural shape, it will be fixed in formalin. Then it will be washed and transferred to propylene glycol and stored in a special tank in preparation in display.

    We’ll keep you posted about this. Should we set up an email list or will the blog/rss be OK?

  22. Dakota

    Treat her like a lady, guys.

  23. Pepang Kalawit

    great, great, great!

    what do you do w/it afterwards?
    I have a suggestion. slice into rings, mix with bread crumbs, flour or starch, add salt to taste, deep fry


  24. Eljay

    Does anyone else have audio problems at the moment? Mine is going off and coming on every few seconds. I hope it is better soon so I hear what is happening with the larger specimen of colossal squid.

  25. Dakota

    It’s so utterly sad — but no less a gift that none of us should take lightly.


  26. Dakota

    Mark!!! It’s your birthday!!! (And you can’t find anything better to do?) Ha! Will you be having cake before, or after? HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!


  27. Dakota

    😉 (wink) 7:05? It’s a date! And…if you don’t mind, if the smell ever gets too bad, a cotton ball with a smathering of Vicks Vapor Rub might help. ‘Got me through a number of autopsies where decomp was an issue. But then again, you probably won’t even notice.

    me … just waiting.

  28. Mark from the tank

    Hi everyone,

    the big day is upon us and I will be there early (45 minutes) so will give you a wave then Dakota @ 7.05 sharp. And if you log on to you can read about Steve raising GS larvae in culture!

    Not sure if I will get time to answer blog comments today so thank you all for watching and making this a worldwide event.

    Wish us luck and I hope that you all get a buzz out of this.

    You can imagine I guess how much I am 🙂

  29. Dakota

    Mornin! And excuse my ignorance; but, any theories on why it’s been , thus far, impossible to capture and keep these creatures alive outside their natural habitats, or even to “grow” them from a post embryonic state? It just seems to me that when caught, either by hook or net, they perish soon after or just prior to surfacing. I need to leave the site for a bit, but will check back later. Thanks, and so have a very interesting day!


  30. Mark (Monty) Montague

    ‘morning… I’m not a teuthologist, but I play one on the web, so I figured I’d take a shot at Michael’s question while the experts are getting a good night’s sleep.

    From Nixon & Young, The Brains and Lives of Cephalopods (p.229) re Mesonychoteuthis: “Each stellar nerve contains one or more giant fibres reaching 300 micrometers, but most are smaller.” Although obviously Young didn’t have access to a squid this large.

    For comparison, Architeuthis giant fibers were measured at 75-260 micrometers, but the much smaller market squids like loligo can have axons as large as 800 micrometers, likely because they have more predators they can avoid with a quick escape reflex.

    A reason many neuroscientists would be curious (and I imagine Michael is in this group) is that the giant axon of much smaller squids was the original nerve studied to understand how nerves in general work. This was because this nerve is much larger than any in humans, since squids use nerve thickness to get faster transmission for their escape reflexes, and the size made it possible for scientists to take measurements and to develop the model of nerve transmission that is still used in neuroscience today.

  31. Dakota

    Good morning, people! I’ve been looking for things to do, rather than to just sit and gaze, in absolute bewilderment, at this slumbering creature, while even most anxiously waiting for you to come back online. Ah, but what mysteries the sea doth unfold for the ever so patient and insatiably curious, huh? Amazing!

    So could one of you, please, just PLEASE let your own eagerness awaken you early, so that you might greet this most beautious beast, and me? Flash a wave into the camera (4, I suppose) so I know someone is in attendance, waiting as axiously as it is that I am. Thanks, and G’day!


    Can’t wait!


  32. Dr. Michael Ferber

    I’ m asking as a teaching neuroscientist. I am extremely interested in the size og the giant axons of the giant “squid”. Any hints would be greately appreciated.


  33. Nicole

    I really appreciate the opportunity that you have given everyone to see the unfolding of the colossal squid live. I don’t have to wait to hear about it or see photos months later. As a biologist/educator, this event is really exciting to view through a live broadcast.

  34. Sereena

    My mother and I are both watching the broadcast on the Internet on each of our computers, in the same room, on the same broadband link, and there’s an approximately six second delay between each broadcast. Is this because of buffering issues?

  35. Rae

    Good night team. You’ve got a busy day tomorrow so get some sleep. Can hear you on camera 4 only

  36. Angela

    My kids think it is fascinating watching it on Broadband over the last few days. We saw it come out of the freezer and into the bath. They really cannot believe that it possibly is the length of a bus. They were especially interested in the little hooks on its tenticles the way they can rotate around. Thank you for making it possible to view it.

  37. finn

    its eyes are so big and cool looking as if they might pop suckers are interesting as well.

  38. Sarah

    It’s not quite as interesting as what you guys are doing but it made me laugh!


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